Long-Term Care Home With COVID-19 Outbreak to Be Temporarily Managed by Toronto Hospital

Long-Term Care Home With COVID-19 Outbreak to Be Temporarily Managed by Toronto Hospital
Paramedics take away an elderly patient at the Tendercare Living Centre, long-term-care facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., Canada on Dec. 23, 2020. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)
Isaac Teo

A long-term care home in Scarborough will be temporarily managed by a Toronto hospital after Ontario’s official opposition called on the Ford government to “step in immediately” to help them overcome the COVID-19 outbreak at the home.

Tendercare Living Centre, a long-term care home, is working with North York General Hospital (NYGH) on a voluntary management agreement after the home was hit with an outbreak of COVID-19 that infected at least 145 residents, killing 26. The home has a total of 254 residents staying in its five-storey building.

On Wednesday, Ontario NDP issued an urgent plea calling on the provincial government to intervene immediately to help the situation at Tendercare.

“I am echoing the pleas for help from residents' families and doctors, who are calling the situation at Tendercare a nightmare scenario, with workers spread so thin that sick and dying patients aren't getting regular care,” Scarborough Southwest MPP Doly Begum said.

Begum also added that doctors at Tendercare have reported multiple cases of residents suffering from dehydration due to not having enough staff to help them eat and drink at the home. She urged the Ontario government to appoint temporary management for the home.

The Ford government responded by bringing in NYGH to assist the home on the same day, which the hospital confirmed in a statement in the evening.

The Epoch Times has reached out to both NYGH and Tendercare to provide updates and details of their plans. As of publication time, they had yet to provide an answer, but promised to respond later.

Extendicare, a senior care provider and owner of Tendercare, told The Epoch Times that they have been working with the home, the Scarbrough Health Network, NYGH, and the Ministry of Long-Term Care (MLTC) to “identify additional support for the home as it works to mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak.”

“[We] will keep in close contact with the teams at Tendercare, North York General Hospital and others in the local health care community to identify any areas where we can provide further assistance,” said Extendicare spokesperson. “We will continue to provide any support we can, including additional staff as we have over previous weeks.”

The Ford government also announced on Wednesday that they had called in Canadian Red Cross Teams to provide short-term support to another 20 long term care and retirement homes in the province to help them cope with COVID-19 challenges.

Specifically, the Red Cross will help in infection prevention and control measures, and at the same time, help with delivery of meals, housekeeping, and light cleaning duties. As to which home will receive the assistance, the provincial government said it will be determined on a case by case basis as they work with the Red Cross to monitor the situation.

Asked on how the province plans to help Tendercare specifically, the MLTC told The Epoch Times Thursday that the department is already working alongside Tendercare to provide them the necessary assistance needed.

“We are deeply concerned with the situation at Tendercare Living Centre. Staffing needs at Tendercare are being urgently met with agency staff, and North York General Hospital is providing medical coverage and is entering into a Voluntary Management Contract to take over temporary management of the home,” said Krystle Caputo, press secretary for Ontario's long-term care minister Dr. Merrilee Fullerton.

“We remain committed to doing everything we can, along with our partners, to help stabilize the home and return it to normal operations.”